You may have realised from the photo that I am talking about indulging in my first mince pie this year, although technically, I did have a bite of a Chunk of Devon mince pie in a show that I did a couple of months ago, which I have to say was pretty yummy. So, I’m really saying this is my first homemade mince pie this year, having baked a batch last Saturday. I didn’t actually have one until Monday when I posted a photo on Instagram… hair by Dyson Corrale, mince pies by juliagroberts!
By the way, if you’ve been hankering after the Corrale straighteners, they are currently on five Easy Pay interest-free instalments – an opportunity to try them out, I guess, and see how you get on with them. That photo was taken before my trip to the hairdresser on Tuesday for my colour and only my second haircut this year. It would never have been possible before I started using the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer, which has minimised the amount of heat damage to my hair.
Back to the mince pies though, I thought I’d post my recipe in case you want to try them out and to save you asking:
Mince Pie Recipe (makes 2 dozen)
- 8 oz white self-raising flour
- 8 oz wholemeal plain flour
- 4oz butter
- 4 oz Trex (white vegetable fat)
- Pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons of cold water
- 1 regular jar of mincemeat
1. Put both flours into a large mixing bowl with the salt.
2. Cut the butter and Trex into cubes, then add to the flour and rub in until it resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Add the cold water, using a knife to bring the dough together, then knead for a few seconds to form into a ball.
4. Cut the dough in half and roll out on a well-floured surface, then, using the larger of two pastry cutters, cut out as many ‘bottoms’ as you can – gather up the dough scraps and put aside while you roll out the other half of the dough and cut ‘tops’ with the smaller cutter.
5. Gather all the scraps together to form a ball and repeat.
6. Line your patty tins with the ‘bottoms’ then spoon in a generous teaspoon of mincemeat to each.
7. Using your finger, run cold water around each ‘top’ before placing over the mixture and pressing down firmly.
8. Make a little cross in the top of each pie using a sharp knife and sprinkle with a small amount of granulated sugar.
9. Bake in the oven for 18 -20 minutes at 200 degrees or 180 degrees fan assisted.
We’ve enjoyed them cold but also warmed through in the microwave for 30 seconds and served with cream. By the way, microwave is pronounced as spelled and not as pronounced by Nigella Lawson – I’m pretty sure that clip will feature on Gogglebox tonight!
With Christmas only two weeks away, I must confess to not having wrapped a single present for my family. I did however wrap this lot for the teams behind the scenes at QVC. Each year, the presenters arrange something from all of us as a thank you to the teams that support us – for the past couple of years it’s been pizza for all – but obviously that isn’t possible this year with social distancing regulations. So, I volunteered myself to organise and Craig quickly stepped up to help, as we did it a few years back and worked well together. We’d decided on the gifts and bought everything within a week – messaging each other as Mama Santa and Christmas Elf, which has really put me in a festive mood! All done and dusted and ready to gift – great teamwork.
The two of us were also partnered up to be on this Christmas postcard last month, which was sent out to some new customers to welcome them to QVC and thank them for shopping with us – I really like those glasses on Craig and you may well be seeing more of my sparkly reindeer antlers as we get closer to Christmas!
Although I haven’t wrapped any family presents yet, I have bought most of them now and all from QVC or other online retailers. I haven’t been tempted out to the shops since the relaxation of lockdown in our area. I’ve just accepted that this year is a little different and that the joys of the pre-Christmas hustle and bustle, and Christmas markets will for me have to wait until next year (hopefully). It’s been quite a busy week for Donald, our Hermes delivery driver, and I have a few more goodies on the way, including the Molton Brown Today’s Special Value, which I ordered early.
I’m very glad I did, and I’d recommend you taking advantage of the pre-order opportunity for the Liz Earle Today’s Special Value this coming Sunday. This one is based around their fabulous fragrance with a choice of No 1, No 9, No 15, No 20 and No 100, all in the full 50ml size – check our website to help you decide which one to go for. Whichever fragrance you choose, you will also get 200ml of Cleanse & Polish (with two muslin cloths), 200ml of Rosemary & Rock Rose Botanical Body Wash, 200ml of Rosemary & Rock Rose Botanical Body Cream and 50ml of Rosemary & Rock Rose Hand Repair. It’s gift boxed, on 4 Easy Pay interest-free instalments and less than half price.
But if that’s not for you, we have another beauty Today’s Special Value on Monday (launching 9 p.m. Sunday), which you will need to be super-quick with. It’s a Tili (Try It Love It) vanity bag, featuring products from seven of your favourite QVC brands – it will fly if the Tili box offer from last weekend is anything to go by… it had sold out before my 9 a.m. show.
Just a quick heads up on a new voucher code starting today and running until the end of this year on clearance items in clothes, shoes, jewellery and accessories. If you’re spending over £30, use the code SALE15 at checkout to get an additional 15% off – this is now available to use on our latest app, so make sure you update it.
And if you’re not planning on spending that much, there is already code SALE2Z which can give you two Easy Pay interest-free instalments on similar clearance lines until midnight on Dec 27th.
Although I’m not on air this weekend, I’m going to be busy buying and decorating the Christmas tree, wrapping presents and writing Christmas cards – thanks if you’ve sent me one in, as they are always much appreciated to brighten our dressing rooms. As well as writing Christmas cards, I also need to get another 5000 words for my book publishing next summer and do the final proofread for My Mother’s Secret, out next month… it really is all go! Sadly, as it is not my rostered weekend, I’ll be missing the final Butler & Wilson show of the year with Simon Wilson, which is tomorrow from 4 p.m. for two hours if you fancy some sparkle.
Just before I finish, I wanted to pay tribute to Barbara Windsor, another star who is lost to this world in 2020. I was in a pantomime with Barbara at the Ashcroft Theatre in Croydon in 1978/79. She played the title role of Dick Whittington and I was her understudy, as well as being in the chorus line of dancers. She never missed a performance and brought a ray of sunshine to every show. Our paths crossed again many years later, when she appeared on QVC as a guest for a nailcare range we sold in the early days called Supernails – I wonder if any of you reading this remember Nail Eat and Nail Drink, not to mention Qtica!?! RIP Barbara, a true one-off.